New Clinic Focuses on Spine Tumors
The new Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Spine Tumor Clinic offers patients coordinated care by merging neurosurgery and radiation oncology services in one specialized setting.
The clinic is led by John O'Toole, MD, a neurosurgeon at Rush, and Aidnag Diaz, MD, a radiation oncologist at Rush.
"At Rush we are very aggressive with brain metastases and our patients have done well. We want to do the same with bone metastases in spine tumor patients," says Diaz. "This clinic can allow us to treat those patients more quickly and more aggressively.”
Patients are evaluated in the clinic by O'Toole, Diaz or both. As a team the doctors review imaging, such as MRI and CT scans, and determine a treatment plan on the spot.
"The foundation of managing spinal tumors is at the intersection of surgery and radiation oncology,” O'Toole says. "Our patients can now explore and discuss all of their treatment options with experts in both fields, in one place.”
Patients are offered the full spectrum of leading-edge treatments, including stereotactic radiosurgery, minimally invasive surgery and extensive spinal reconstruction. "Patients can be seen faster because we are collaborating instantaneously,” O'Toole says. "So we can address their tumors before they progress and become less amenable to certain treatments.”
The Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Spine Tumor Clinic is located on the ground floor of the Atrium and meets every Thursday morning. For more information about the clinic, contact Cristina Ayala at (312) 563-3660.
Rush Launches New Autism Program
Rush has launched the Chicago area's first comprehensive program for the treatment of children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders.
The new Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment and Services Program is developing assessment, treatment, residential care and research initiatives that will combine with the existing Autism Resource Center at Rush. The new program aims to offer families comprehensive resources and coordinated long-term care.
"Research has demonstrated the power of targeted interventions to improve educational performance, socialization, language skills and sensory integration issues in people with autism,” says Louis Kraus, MD, director of the Section of Child Psychiatry.
"In Chicago, no single site offers this full range of services, which creates financial and time-related burdens on families and limits the degree of coordination and communication among care providers.”
Rush has begun hiring new specialists, including Latha Soorya, PhD, Rachel Loftin, PhD, and Tom Owley, MD, to help evaluate the clinical needs of the Chicago-area autism community, steer the development of the new program, and staff its research and clinical teams.